NEW from Kennedy Fox: The Checkmate Duet (Drew & Courtney) – Boxed Set!

Front Cover, Checkmate Duet by Kennedy Fox

Titles Included: Checkmate: This is Reckless & Checkmate: This is Effortless
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Drew & Courtney)
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Friends to Lovers Romance
Photographer & Designer: Sara Eirew
Release Date: August 21, 2017

Introducing the complete Drew & Courtney saga in the Checkmate series from the USA Today Bestselling duo Kennedy Fox!
Checkmate: This is Reckless & This is Effortless is a friends to lovers romance will have you swooning and laughing from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the game?

MEET DREW & COURTNEY

Drew Fisher is the type of guy every girl wants.
Noble police officer by day, charming prince by night.

He has no idea the effect he has on women, especially Courtney—his little sister’s best friend. She’s the blonde Southern belle who lives up to the cliché, except she has her own quirks. She’s smart as a whip, can change her own oil, and recite The Pledge of Allegiance backward, but no matter what, he doesn’t see that girl. It’d be easier to forget him if he wasn’t Courtney’s roommate and if the first thing she saw in the morning wasn’t his shirtless body covered in tattoos. She’s crushed on him since the day they met, but he’s made it perfectly clear where they stand. Just friends.

Courtney Bishop is as sugary sweet as her famous blueberry muffins.
Southern belle at heart, Cali girl by choice.
She barged into Drew’s life and they easily became best friends.
All was great as roommates and just friends, but then he started to fall for the girl who could chop firewood, deliver baby calves, and bail hay without breaking a sweat.
She’s the perfect mixture of sugar and spice, and he wants her.

One drunken hookup leaves them with much more than a platonic friendship.
Pretending it never happened proves to be more difficult than either of them anticipated.
A crazy ex-girlfriend, a dangerous war of stolen glances, and passionate kisses leads to the most reckless battle yet.

Loving each other comes easy, but losing their friendship will break them. Burning passion combined with an undeniable chemistry constantly pushes and pulls them together. In the end, Drew strives to prove they’re worth the fight, even when the game is far from over.

Checkmate.

Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.


AMAZON US
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AMAZON CA
AMAZON AU

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Boxed Set Release Day Giveaway

Checkmate: This is Beautiful is releasing on September 12, 2017!
This is the grande finale of the Checkmate Duet Series!


If you haven’t started Logan and Kayla’s story yet, the time is now!
Checkmate: This is Dangerous (Logan & Kayla #1) – OUT NOW
Checkmate: This is Beautiful (Logan & Kayla #2) – PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE
We don’t have too much longer before it’s on e-readers everywhere.

****

Many people have asked up what’s coming after the Checkmate Duet Series.
Well, we plan on releasing A WEEK WITH A BAD BOY together under Brooke and Lyra on October 19, 2017! We are very excited about this and can’t wait for it to be released!

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sign-up to participate in the cover reveal, release day blitz, & ARC reviews! http://bit.ly/2vx1fMm

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you can sign-up now to apply for our ARC review team! http://bit.ly/2hTshKO

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make sure to add this to your TBR list! http://bit.ly/2fFJpmG

***

Early 2018 we will start releasing the BISHOP BROTHERS Series!
It is an interconnected stand alone series that will follow Courtney’s 4 brothers!
We’re so excited about this. If you want more information, please CLICK HERE!
We’re still in the early planning stages but will update our “coming soon” page with more info as soon as it’s set in stone.


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OUR BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE IN AUDIO FORMAT TOO!
CLICK HERE!


Who’s Behind Kennedy Fox?

Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox who share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!

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CUFFED: Coming Soon from K. Bromberg – Cover Reveal!

IT’S SO EXCITING TO BRING YOU THE COVER FOR CUFFED

BY NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLING AUTHOR K.BROMBERG

RELEASING ON OCTOBER 23!

 

Front cover of CUFFED, by K. Bromberg

Design:  Helen Williams
Photographer:  Wander Aguiar

Are you ready to get CUFFED?

From the New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new series about three brothers, the job that calls them, and the women who challenge them. Get ready for CUFFED, releasing October 23rd!

 “I hate you. I never want to see you again.”

Grant Malone is not the reason I moved back to Sunnyville—at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet, those parting words I said to him back in third grade ring in my ears every time a townsperson brings up one of the Malone boys. I thought time had healed my wounds. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I finally saw him again.

Twenty years does a lot to turn a boy into a man. One who hits all my buttons—sexy, funny, attractive, and a police officer. But Grant is off limits because he knows too much about my past.

But I’m drawn to him. That damn uniform of his doesn’t hurt either. It’ll be my downfall. I know it.
What’s one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?


 I’ve always loved Emmy Reeves.

That’s why I’m shocked to see her all these years later. The shy girl I once knew is all grown up.

Adventurous and full of life, she owns my heart now, just as much as she did back then. Convincing her of that is a whole different story.

I’ll give her the one night she asks for—like that’s a hardship—but when it comes to letting her walk away after, she has another thing coming. There’s no way in hell I’m letting her go this time without a fight.

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PRE – ORDER CUFFED NOW

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About K. Bromberg

HeadShot ColorNew York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales HERE

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Royally Endowed: A New, Sexy Royal Romance by Emma Chase

Royally Endowed…

3D Front Cover, Royally Endowed by Emma ChaseLogan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.


Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | iBooks | B&N

 

Prologue

Logan

Some men think with their cocks.

You know the type. Quick smooth-talkers, shifty eyes always scanning for a nice pair of legs, a set of full tits, or a tight arse they can pant after.

Other blokes think too much with their brains. You know that type too. Annoyingly careful, slow-moving, constantly parsing their words like they already know whatever they’re saying is going to come back and take a bite out of them.

I’m not either of those.

I always go with my gut. When it clenches with a warning, I act—no hesitation. When it tugs and nudges, I pause and reevaluate. When it twists and writhes, I know, guaranteed, I’ve cocked up big-time.

My gut is my best friend, my conscience, my most lethal asset.

And it has never let me down.

It’s my gut that drags me to her door. That roots me in place as I knock. That gives me the words—pleading, unfamiliar remorseful words—I’ll gladly say to make this right.

To get her back.

Because while my gut is brilliant, sometimes I can be a real fucking idiot.

Yesterday was one of those times.

“Ellie. It’s me—open up, we need to talk.”

I sense movement on the other side of the solid oak door—not in sounds or shifting shadows beneath it, but more of an awareness. I can feel her in there. Nearby and listening.

“Go away, Logan.”

Her voice is tight, higher-pitched than usual. Upset.

“Ellie, please. I was a twat, I know . . .” I’m not keen on begging from the hallway, but if that’s what it takes . . .  “I’m sorry. Let me in.”

Ellie is difficult to anger, quick to forgive; she just doesn’t have it in her to hold a grudge. So her next words fall like an axe—cutting my legs right off from under me.

“No, you were right. The princess’s sister and the East Amboy bodyguard don’t make sense—we’ll never last.”

Did I actually say that to her? What the fuck is wrong with me? What I feel for her is the one thing in my life that makes sense. That matters.

But I never told her that.

Instead . . . instead, I said all the wrong things.

I brace my palm against the smooth wood, leaning forward, wanting to be as near to her as possible. “Elle . . .”

“I’ve changed my mind, Logan.”

If a corpse could speak, it would sound exactly like my Ellie does now. Flat, lifeless.

“I want the fairy tale. I want what Olivia has . . . castles and carriages . . . and you’ll never be able to give me that. I would just be settling for you. You’ll never be able to make me happy.”

She doesn’t mean that. They’re my words—the insecurities I put on her—that she’s hurling back in my face.

But God, it fucking hurts to hear. Physically hurts—stabbing deep into the pit of my stomach, crushing my chest, grinding my bones. I meant it when I said I would die for her . . . and right now, it feels like I am.

I grab the doorknob to walk inside, to see her face. To see that she doesn’t mean it.

“Ellie—”

“Don’t come in!” she screeches like I’ve never heard her before. “I don’t want to see you! Go away, Logan. We’re done—just go!”

I breathe hard—that’s what you do when pain wrecks you, breathe through it. Then I swallow bile, straighten up, turn around and walk down the hall. Away from her. Just like she wants, like she asked. Like she screamed.

My brain tells me to move faster—get the hell out of there, cut my losses and lick my wounds. And my heart—Christ—that poor bastard’s too battered and bloody to say anything at all.

But then, just over halfway down the hall, my steps slow until I stop completely.

Because my gut . . . it strains through the hurt. Rebels. It shouts that this isn’t right. This isn’t her. Something’s off.

And even more than that . . . something is very, very wrong.

I glance up and down the quiet hall—not a guard or a maid in sight. I look back at the door. Closed and silent and still.

Then I turn and march straight back to it. I don’t knock, or wait, or ask for permission. In one move, I turn the knob and step inside.

What I see there stops me cold.

Because whatever I was expecting, it sure as fuck wasn’t this.

Not at all . . .

About Emma Chase

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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So Good: A Sexy, Funny Romance by Nicola Rendell – Blog Tour

 

Tour Banner for So Good by Nicola Rendell

 

 

 

 

IMG_3322.PNG

 

AP new - synopsis.jpg
On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.

Read my Review of So Good on Goodreads

Max

As I unlocked the door to my houseboat, I heard it. At first, it sounded like a duck paddling, but then I heard something else—a panting, or a gasping. For a second, it died down. It didn’t worry me, really, because the docks were full of weird noises, and boats were noisy as fuck. But I turned the deadbolt turned, the sound got louder and more frantic. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound good and it sure as hell didn’t sound like a duck. I let my work belt slide off my shoulder onto the deck, and looked down in the water, gripping the taffrail. There in the shadows, gasping, paddling, and panicking, I saw something small and wet and terrified.
​Holy fuck. It was a dog. A tiny, drowning dog.

​Fully clothed, boots on, I jumped into the water off the sternside. I plunged in deep, submerged in a world of shadowy barnacle-crusted dock pilings and chains holding anchors far below. Holding my breath and looking up toward the sunshine, through the bubbles that came down with me, I saw it. No bigger than a chicken, and kicking hard. I breaststroked toward the dog, aiming to come up right below it, but the salt water stung my eyes, and I closed them out of reflex. When I surfaced, it had gotten a few feet away. It was just a tiny thing, soaking wet, sucking in terrified breaths. It doggy-paddled in circles, slipping down into the water so that only its nose was above the surface. I did one strong breaststroke, but it was in full flight-or-fight mode, absolutely fucking petrified, and it paddled away from me, slipping out of my grasp. With one more big stroke, I had it, and I scooped it up into my arms to held her up out of the water, the way people do when the hold babies in the air. I saw it was a girl, her tummy soft and much less furry than the rest of her. Her big black eyes bugged out for an instant, and then…

She went limp in my hands. Lifeless, with her feet dangling down, her tongue hanging out. Her eyes were closed. On my palm, I couldn’t feel a heartbeat where I was sure there should have been one thrumming along.

​Fuck. Fuck.

​I gave her a shake, but she dangled like a rag doll.

I held her out of the water, keeping her in a tight bicep curl over my shoulder. Carefully, I maneuvered under the jetty that led to my boat. I got a toehold on the old dock ladder, rusty and unsteady. Using one hand to climb up, and using both boots like climbing picks, I emerged from my boat’s shadow and out into the sunshine of the dock. I laid her down on her back, supporting her lifeless body. With every passing millisecond, my heart fucking broke more and more. I could not let this happen. I could not let her die. I pulled myself up all the way and knelt beside her. She was flat on her back, with no signs of life at all. Her arms were limp at the wrists, and her paws dripped onto the dry wood beneath her. Still, her tongue hung out. Still, her eyes were shut. Still, she wasn’t breathing.

Somewhere, buried deep in my memory, I remembered learning the basics of canine CPR. I felt like maybe it was in my lifeguard class when I was in high school, but I didn’t fucking know and it didn’t fucking matter. All I knew was I had to do something, and fast. So I did. I wrapped my fingers around her tiny muzzle and brought my lips to her leathery nose. I blew gently, and as I did I felt her chest swell up. I held my own breath and prayed for anything, any sign of life, but there was nothing. Lightly, with the tips of my fingers, I did compressions on her soaking wet fur. One. Two. Three. And then I did another breath. One. Two. Three.
“Come on, little lady,” I whispered, and rolled her onto her side. I gave her a few pats, firm but not too hard. She was absolutely tiny—from scruff to tail, hardly bigger than the span of my hand. I rolled her over onto her back again and gave her one more breath, all the while going through the paces of what the fuck to do if this didn’t work. I had no goddamned idea whatsoever where the vet was. Did we even have a vet? Would she survive that long? What the fuck was I going to do?

But as I started the next set of compressions, she coughed. She actually coughed, like a tiny person, a gasping choking hack, accompanied by a few mouthfuls of water spilling out onto the wood planks.

Holy shit.

I froze with my hands just above her tiny body. Her strange, buggy eyes opened up and she started panting hard.

“Hey, hey!” I scooped her up in my arms, cradling her to my chest. I could tell by the way she was so limp against me that she was exhausted. Keeping her close to my body, to keep her warm and safe, I scratched the fur at the back of her neck, her tail started to wag. But she was also shivering hard, and I didn’t like that one bit.

 

AP new -about the author.jpg
Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
Author Links

 

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Hooking Up, by Helena Hunting: Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Opportunity

Hooking Up, an all-new sexy and hilarious standalone by Helena Hunting is coming November 7th!

Front Cover of Hooking Up  

Title: Hooking Up

Author: Helena Hunting

Publication Date: November 7th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Hooking Up:

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

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Preorder Today!  

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Chapter Reveal: SO GOOD, Coming Soon from Nicola Rendell

 

 

Coming August 7th

 

 

 

Front Cover of So Good by Nicola Rendell

 

AP new - synopsis.jpg

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.

Max

I wasn’t planning to see her naked—I swear to God, I wasn’t. The day was a scorcher, one of those godforsaken New England summer days that makes a guy wonder how he ever said fuck you to winter. I stood on the roof her house, three stories above the Maine woods, with a far-off view of the ocean. It was pretty, yeah, like the kind of shit real estate companies put on complimentary calendars. But in that heat, it was like standing on top of a goddamned toaster, turned all the way to burnt. I could feel that shit in my socks, straight through my work boots. At my feet was a stack of shake shingles, old school, to replace the ones that were missing. Her house had a few slow leaks, and one over her bathroom that made the ceiling look like a huge Rorschach test. She said it definitely looked like a rose in bloom, I said it definitely looked like Batman. But I told her hidden meanings wouldn’t make shit for difference when the ceiling collapsed into the tub, so there I was. Fucking miserable work, but I was glad to do it. Glad to do anything for her—anything she needed at all.
In the forest on every side around the cottage, the cicadas screeched. It sounded like a needle squeaking off a record player. I knelt down by the stack of shingles, using my utility knife to score a line through one to fit a nearby gap. I snapped it with my hands and tossed the scrap end off the edge of the roof. A trickle of sweat ran down my forehead, and I wiped my face with my forearm. One droplet got away, sparkling in the sun. It caught my eye, and I watched it fall, as it landed on the skylight window with a splat.

And that was when it happened. Boom.

There she was, right under me. She couldn’t have been more than six feet away, but she felt even closer. I had a direct line of sight down into her gorgeous, soft cleavage, bright and pure in the sunshine. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the surprise of seeing her, but at first I didn’t really process that it was Rosie at all. My dude brain said, I want that woman.
Then my regular brain said, Don’t be an asshole, man. It’s Rosie. Have some respect.
Respect I definitely had, but of course I’d thought about seeing her naked before. She was so fucking beautiful that any man would have thought about it. Sometimes, like right then looking down into her dress, I couldn’t fucking help it. Sometimes we’d be out doing something ordinary, like eating dinner, or I’d be changing her oil, or she’d be teaching me to do shit I should have learned at some point in the last 34 years, like iron a dress shirt without screwing up the collar, and I’d catch myself watching her cleavage rise and fall as she breathed, or thinking how nice her legs were, and I’d think, Holy hell.

Now she was directly underneath the skylight. The angle of the sun cast my shadow down the roofline, away from the skylight, so I didn’t give myself away. Like that, I watched her. I gave in to my dude brain and just took her in. Her light brown hair glinted, and a beam of light caught the curve of her shoulder.

That was when the goddamned striptease started, beginning with the left strap of her sundress.

Her movements were graceful, sexy, sassy—the sway of her hips, the shake of her shoulders. I realized I might be in real fucking trouble, because I loved that sexy sass. It wasn’t normal Rosie-cute. It was naughty, like nothing I’d ever seen her do before. I liked it so much, I couldn’t look away. She shimmied out of her sundress, and it fell to the floor in a pool at her feet. No big deal, I tried to tell myself. I’d seen her in her bikini a thousand times. This was no different from that.

Except it was, because then she reached around to undo her bra. Before I could tell myself Don’t look, dude. It’s Rosie, don’t look, it was too fucking late. The straps slid down off her shoulders, and for one perfect second got caught on her nipples, swinging in the air before falling to the floor.

Holy…

I pressed my clenched fist to my mouth and groaned into my hand. All my blood was leaving my head. The roofline was getting wobbly.

It wasn’t like I didn’t know her curves; we’d spent whole summers on the beach—I knew her shape and her softness, I knew her lines and her freckles. Every curve of Rosie Madden was sacred in my book. Fucking douchebags on the beach giving her eyes had to answer to me and my eyes, right behind her. She did that to me—I was one punch away from defending her honor, always. But this? This was different. Seeing your best friend in a bikini at a clam bake is one thing. Protecting your best friend from assholes with wandering eyes is part of the guy-girl best friend creed. But seeing your best friend, absolutely naked in her bedroom, without knowing she can see you? That was a different deal.

…Shit.

Part of me knew I should keep my eyes off of her. She thought she was in private, I had no business spying. Anyway, I didn’t want to be that guy. I hated that guy. But the other part of me, fuck. The other part of me was nothing but want.

Then she bent at the hips, and time slowed down, like some kind of stop-motion Jackie Chan kung fu sequence. All the cicadas went silent, at least in my head they did. The wind stopped blowing through the trees. It was just her, and her perfection, in the sunshine underneath me. I felt like I was on one of those glass-bottomed boats, looking at a world I never knew existed.

She tossed her bra aside, and it landed on her neatly made bed. She shimmied out of her panties, shaking her ass as she did. I growled into my fist, and that’s when I went down into a crouch.

Because as she shimmied I saw it in a V above her ass. My kryptonite. A skimpy thong.
All these years, all these decades, I’d had her pegged for cute cotton panties—pastel polka dots, thin stripes, shit that was sweet and sensible. But I was so fucking wrong. Black. Strappy. Tiny. Not sensible at all. Now it was in a rolled-up ball at her ankles. Using her toes, she plucked her panties from the floor, and caught them on one finger.
Fucking A.

She was completely naked, not a thread on her. Every thought I’d ever had got sucked out of my brain, like dishwater down the sink drain. What was left was only one true thing, and it wasn’t about her ass, or her skin, or her breasts. It was the one thing I think I’d always known but never let myself feel. Until that moment.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world.

Part of the reason I thought that was, yeah, obviously, she was fucking stunning, every inch of her straight out of a dream. Not just my dream, either. Guys would slow down on Main Street to give her the elevator stare, and I’d quietly crack my knuckles and give them don’t-you-fucking-dare stares. But the other part, the part that wasn’t in my gut but that was in my heart, was that I fucking adored her. Adored her so hard it hurt.

She crouched down to pick up her dress, lifting the delicate straps with her small, sweet fingers. She pivoted, so I had a view of her other side of her body for the first time. There it was.

The tattoo.

I groaned again. I wasn’t prepared for this shit; three stories up, that body was dangerous. It was a rose tattoo, snaking around her hip, on the milk-white skin that was always under her bikini bottoms. The part of her I’d never seen. It was serious ink, real art, not some namby-pamby temporary tattoo or some amateur shit she might’ve gotten in an hour at a tattoo parlor on a dare on a cruise to Puerto Rico. It was complicated, detailed, and artful. Multiple visits to some tattoo artist, touching that creamy skin—goddamn.

It took every fucking ounce of strength I had, but I did manage to look away. I felt as disoriented as if I’d been sucker punched. Not cotton—lace. Not cute—hot. Not my friend—my fucking fantasy.

She was so important to me, such an integral part of my world, that I’d never let myself think of her as more than what she was. She was like running water, or electricity, or the sunshine itself. She was one of those things that was perfect exactly as it was, and one of those things only an idiot would want to change. I never looked at her and thought, I wish I could have more of her than I do already. That would be like thinking, I wish I could turn that cold glass of water into a swimming pool. Or, I wish electricity came through the air. Fuck that noise. Perfect things are perfect things, and Rosie Madden was a perfect goddamned thing, from the tips of her toes to the freckles on her nose. And that rose, holy fuck, that rose.
I was strong, but not that strong, and I let my eyes move down again. She’d disappeared from view, mostly, except for the edge of her ass. I watched her rifle through her closet, and a few dresses fluttered onto her bed. On her bedside table, I caught a glimpse of the picture she always kept there, of the two of us together. The memories flew back at me like a runaway train. The first time I’d ever seen her was the day my parents and I moved to Truelove, at the start of middle school. The first time I ever saw her, she was volunteering at the community gardens. She had a smudge of dirt on her cheek, and I thought she’d looked super badass. I’d helped her dig up carrots and had been too fucking tongue-tied to say a goddamned word.

That’s how I felt, all over again times a thousand.

I’d never made a move. She’d cried on my shoulder through a line of guys who were never good enough for her. Jocks and pricks and a brief and seriously unfortunate stint with a guy who was a drummer for a reggae band who I hated so much it made me grind my teeth. But I never said shit about it. She was perfect even when she made mistakes. Tips of her toes. Freckles on her nose.

Never mind that rose. Like Banksy took on a temple.

One more time, I glanced down. Now she was sitting on her bed, and I saw that dark V shadow between her thighs. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. I watched her put on a pair of red panties. Equally skimpy, equally not-sensible, equally ball-busting. They were only tragic because they hid the parts of her I’d never seen before.

Christ. All. Mighty.

As the world started to spin, I realized fixing the shingles could wait. I’d been working on old houses long enough to know that if you found yourself on a dangerously sloping roof and felt like you might be less than 100% on the ball, you needed to reconsider your game plan. I needed to get my shit together—that body had me totally fucking derailed. So I made my way down the roof, basically bouldering down backward. I focused on my grip, and my steps, like a climber coming down from Everest without enough oxygen. When I got to the gutter, I worked my way around the corner, standing on the eave, and hooked my leg over my ladder, making sure to put one foot after another and keep a tight grip on every rung.
When I stepped off the ladder, I grabbed a bottle of water that she’d left for me and filled up my palm and then splashed my face. My sweat stung my eyes through the droplets of water, and I rubbed away the tears. I heard the hinges on the screen door creak. “All done?” she asked.

I opened my eyes. They stung like hell, but I didn’t give a fuck. There she was, in a dress I’d seen before. Striped and sweet. But now I knew the secret. There were red panties under there. Red. Cherry red. My eyes fell on that part of her hip that I knew was inked.
“Max?”

I managed somehow to snap out of it. “Sorry. Getting there. Spotted something weird with the skylight.”

Rosie cocked her head. “Were you up there? Above my room?”

Awesome, dude. Smooth. “Just noticed it out of the corner of my eye.”

“I don’t like you being on the roof.” She pursed her lips. “Too steep. Promise you’ll get some ropes up there or something? Promise?” She reached out and put her hand to my arm, her fingers with their short pink nails pressing into my tanned skin. I had a quick but totally unavoidable image of her gripping my forearm in a very different situation. I want that. So fucking…

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

When I didn’t answer—I knew that if I opened my mouth the first words out would be You. Me. Right Now.—she looked up at the roof and squinted into the sun. She peered suspiciously up at me and shifted her nose, kind of like a bunny. Adorable. She wasn’t very tall, so whenever she looked at me she had to lift her chin, which used to be cute. But now looked…like everything I’d ever wanted. “Have you had too much sun?”

I was vaguely aware that she’d said some words, but I wasn’t hearing them because I realized that I couldn’t see her bra straps, so that had to mean she was she was wearing a strapless…

Knock. That. Shit. Off. “I’m good.”

“Mmm.” She nodded and furrowed her delicate eyebrows, which had never looked so pretty as they did at that moment. I didn’t even know eyebrows could be pretty. They’re eyebrows, for fuck’s sake. But suddenly I felt like for the last ten years, I’d been looking at her through a standard definition television, with a shitty cable connection. Now someone had handed me an HDMI cable, and she was in 1080 dots per inch. Christ.

“Lemme make you a sandwich. You’re acting strange.”

Rather than answer her, I dumped the remaining half a bottle of water over my head, like Andre Agassi used to do between break points at the French Open.

“Ham? Or turkey? I’ve got both. Or chicken salad!” She clapped her hands together, compressing her cleavage. “Do you want a pickle?”

She means an actual pickle, you fuckwit. “Surprise me,” I told her, and dragged my eyes off the curve of her cleavage. I grabbed the bottom of my T-shirt and pressed it to my eyes. I had to get out of there. I needed a cold shower, or a call from my tax guy, or an unexpectedly urgent trip to the DMV—anything to stop myself seeing her stark naked every goddamned time I looked at her. Anything to get my mind off that ink.

As I wiped my face, she cleared her throat, and I dropped my shirt. “What?”

She pressed her lips together and rocked back on her sandals. “Nothing!”

I followed her eyes and glanced down at my fly, but the stallion was still in the barn. “Come on,” I said, finding myself smiling right along with her. “What are you looking at?”

“Just…” She swallowed hard. “Looking good there, champ.” She glanced at my stomach, where I’d shown her my bare abs. She made a fist and gave me a mock punch, soft and sweet. “That P90X is working great for you.”

Here we go again with the fitness videos. For everything else she was—beautiful, smart, funny—she was also a fucking ball-buster sometimes. She’d worked up this whole narrative that I spent my nights with Tony Horton on my houseboat, getting cut and doing reps while I drank protein shakes with a straw straight from the blender. It was her only explanation for why I didn’t have a girlfriend. P90X it had to be, she’d said. Or maybe, she’d whispered like a co-conspirator, “Jazzercise.” Now, though, I had a better idea than ever about why I was so picky: not a single woman held a candle to her. I’d been fucking blind to it, but now the mist had burned right off. “I’ve never even seen the opening sequence. Never have. Never will.”

“They’re streaming now!”

“Christ.”

Rosie snorted and made a long wheeeeee. “Sure. Surrrrrrre,” she said, stifling her giggle. “One ham-and-turkey, coming right up.” She spun on her sandals and disappeared into the house. Hips swinging. Red panties invisible, but not to me.

Not anymore.

 

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Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
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NEW RELEASE: Cocky Chef, a Sexy Standalone by J. D. Hawkins

Cocky Chef

by JD Hawkins

Release Date: July 31st

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Designer: Letitia Hasser from RBA Designs

Model: Christian Hogue



full cover, Cocky Chef, by JD Hawkins

READ COCKY CHEF TODAY for 99¢

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

AMAZON: AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2uaOVPA

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Meet the Cocky Chef Himself…

You can call me arrogant as much as you want. But when you’re the best at what you do and have the hottest restaurant on the west coast, with enough Michelin stars to make Gordon Ramsay’s head spin, you’ve earned the right to your confidence.

When I give an instruction in the kitchen, it’s not a suggestion–it’s an order. So when a new chef thinks she can do things her way, and dares to say so to my face, even her sharp wit and gorgeous pouty lips don’t make it okay.

But I have to admit, she’s got talent. She’s creative in the kitchen and not even that double-breasted chef jacket can hide her perfect body. As I get to know her, I can’t help wanting to know everything she thinks. I’ve never met a more talented chef. And I’ve never met a sassier and sexier woman in my life.

There’s only one way this push and pull can end.

With her in my bed, begging for more.

 

EXCERPT

She lets out a sigh of relief, but my cock hears something different in her gasping exhale. I bring my thumb slowly to a speck at the side of her mouth, fingers resting on the round perfection of her jawline. She stills under my touch and catches my gaze, time slowing with the deliberateness of my movements.

I brush the speck, but don’t pull away. Instead, I bring my thumb back across those ever-pouted lips, tracing their dip and fullness, letting her feel the texture of hands rough and scarred from a lifetime in kitchens, our eyes locked together in a moment of anticipation, emotions raging like an angry sea against the dam of the distance between us.

Her lips part slightly, I feel her shortening breath on my hand, and I push my thumb between those juicy, perfect lips, fingers pressing against the base of her ear. Her gentle gasp breaks the silence, before she closes those soft lips around my thumb, the sight of them pressing against my skin making my cock full against my pants. Her teeth gently squeezing my nail, tongue flickering as I push the finger inside the hot wetness of her mouth.

My other hand already on her waist, I pull her toward me, press her lithe body up against mine. Those magnificent hips swaying and rubbing against mine, her weight shifting onto me, breasts heaving, nipples so hard now I can feel them through that sweater dress.

“You’re fucking incredible,” I growl. Prelude to pulling her toward me, my finger in her mouth still, angling her head so I can taste the tenderness of her neck, run my sensitive tastebuds down the taut muscles, follow the path that leads me to the front of her chest. Quiet moans getting louder as I run my tongue down the softness of her cleavage, her dress my enemy now as I pull it down and bury my teeth in her breasts.

“Oh God…” she moans. “Cole…”

About the Author:

JD Hawkins writes erotic romance with modern-classic alpha males and strong, independent women. He currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles, CA. He loves to travel and has lived in many places, including New York City, India and Thailand. When he isn’t writing, JD enjoys surfing, training in Mixed Martial Arts, reading and taking naps. He’s always loved making up stories, especially ones inspired by real life.

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